The Government has abolished the Public Works Loan Board (‘PWLB’), the body that had legal responsibility for providing most loan finance to local authorities including parish, town and community councils. However this is not as drastic as it sounds. The PWLB had for many years delegated its statutory functions such as considering loan applications to Treasury officials and this will continue although the officials’ titles will change. The interest rate will also continue to be set by the Treasury. The actual PWLB’s functions were described by the Minister as ‘ceremonial’; as far as we know it has not met for many years. The only change councils may notice is a change to names on the application form.
There is no change to the requirement for local councils to obtain borrowing approval, in England from the Secretary of State via County Associations, and in Wales from the Welsh Government.